Analysis of The Aliens and Nationality Law of the Republic of Liberia

Published: 1/May/2009
Source: American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative

By Jessie Tannenbaum (American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative), Anthony Valcke (University of Kent, Brussels; Vesalius College; European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)), Andrew McPherson (American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative), Leah Mueller (American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative) & Simon Conté (American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative)


Liberia’s immigration and nationality laws, which were modeled on the 1952 U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, have not been updated since 1974. Since that time, both Liberia’s political situation and international laws affecting the rights of migrants and foreign nationals have changed drastically. ABA ROLI’s analysis assessed the law, comparing it to regional and international norms and best practices. The analysis also includes a brief overview of pertinent standards and general policy considerations, highlights areas of concern and suggests reforms. It examines discrete sections of the law, drawing on commentary provided by a panel of experts on immigration, public international law and Liberia. The analysis recommends substantial reforms to the law, including full incorporation of Liberia’s international legal obligations in the domestic law, addressing the needs of trafficked and smuggled persons and ensuring the protection of immigrant children. Other recommendations include developing a regulatory framework for the implementation of immigration laws, establishing court oversight of immigration decisions, eliminating the use of outdated terminology, permitting dual citizenship and matrilineal passage of citizenship and ensuring the rights of residents of non-African descent.

The analysis was undertaken by ABA ROLI at the request of the Liberian Ministry of Justice to assist the government in redrafting and modernizing Liberia’s immigration and nationality laws.

Download from American Bar Association website.

Themes: Acquisition of nationality, Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Liberia
Year: 2009